Finding activities to bring you joy and reduce stress are more important than ever. Chronic stress isn’t just in our minds – it affects everything in our bodies right down to our DNA. When we experience stress, our brain releases a hormone-soup of cortisol and adrenaline that sends our bodies in the Fight-or-Flight response by enhancing some systems and depressing others. If the stressor disappears, so will the hormones, but if it stays, your body will continue to release stress hormones until the perceived threat is gone. If this continues long enough, it can lead to various health problems, including weight gain, memory loss, trouble sleeping, and even heart disease. As such, being able to control your stress is absolutely crucial for maintaining good overall health, but with so many people stuck either alone or unable to be alone thanks to quarantine, where do you even start?
At Oliver’s, naturally!
Finding your Healthiest You is process that we believe starts from the inside out, and a key factor is always going to be stress reduction and management. Even with most of our favorite outlets for stress closed due to COVID (gyms, spas, laser tag, etc.), we know from experience that it only takes a little ingenuity and determination to bring the spa right to your own front door. Keep reading to find all of our favorite tips, tricks, and DIY recipes to bring the Oliver’s Luxury Quarantine Spa to your house to tonight, and start managing your stress like a pro!
Set the Mood
Having a relaxing space can go a surprisingly long way towards reducing stress all by itself, and this is definitely the place to start when DIY-ing a spa day. Taking a moment to tidy up beforehand is a great way to clear some of the clutter in your mind while also tackling the clutter in your house; after all, it’s a lot harder to relax when you’ve got chores to do! Light some incense or a scented candle to add an aromatherapy element, or opt for unscented tea lights for ambiance, if you dislike strong smells. We also recommend dimming the lights to create a more soothing atmosphere, though only if it’s possible in the space you have. We also love to pile up plenty of soft pillows and blankets to cuddle in, adding them to the couch or even building a cozy nest in a free corner! Whether you’ve got the whole house to yourself or you’re hiding out in the closet just to be alone, it’s all about the ambiance and tailoring your unique space to feel comfy and safe. Set up the products you plan on using, if any, in your bathroom before you start, and make sure to keep plenty of face towels on hand!
Once your space is in full relaxation mode, put on a bathrobe or other comfortable clothes you don’t mind getting a bit dirty. The actual DIY bit of this DIY spa day can get a bit messy, so expect the occasional drip on your clothes and avoid clothes you want to keep clean. If you have hair that gets in your face, throw that business in the best ponytail or bun you can and slap on a hair band! You’ll want to keep all those strands far away from your soothing masks and cleansers; however, if you’re planning on doing a hair mask, make sure you do it before you put up your hair. Thus, with your space arranged and your look on fleek, it’s time to DIY ourselves a spa!
Facials are one of the easiest spa treatments to do at home, and we love the real results you can get. Of course, the first step to a good facial is to be familiar with your skin type – dry, oily, or combination. If you have dry skin naturally, it’s best to avoid products that strip you of your natural oils; on the flip side, those with oily skin will likely see the best results from lighter-bodied products. Using products intended for a different skin type can lead to all kinds of skin troubles, so remember to always check your products before you purchase! And of course, avoid products with alcohol.
There are generally about 7 steps in a facial. This number can vary wildly depending on what skincare philosophy someone prescribes too, but for our purposes, we’ll be sticking with 7. In order, they are:
- Clay Mask
- Hydrating Mask
You’ll need to decide between an exfoliant that’s manual or one that’s chemical. Manual exfoliants (a.k.a. scrubs) will usually consist of a cleanser mixed with a grainy material which can be either natural or synthetic and is used to physically scrub away dead skin. A chemical exfoliant uses either a weak acid or an enzyme to gently break down dead cells which are then rinsed off the product. Whichever one you use, make sure that it isn’t so rough or so strong that it will damage your skin! Also, whether you buy your hydrating mask or make it in your kitchen, you want to make sure you’re not over or under-hydrating your skin. Over-hydrating can result in a greasy feeling and even pimples, while under-hydrating will leave you feeling as dry as a desert. For best results, remember to rinse with cold – this will tighten your pores and help pull the product deeper into your skin. And of course, don’t leave any product on if it burns.
Here are some of our favorite DIY recipes to get you started!
Strawberry Sugar Exfoliating Scrub
(All Skin Types)
- 4-5 large Strawberries, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. Honey
- Optional: 2 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
Using a non-metal bowl and utensils, mash the chopped strawberries until a rough paste forms. Stir in the honey and granulated sugar. To it as a rough, gently massage over skin in upward circles for about 3 to 5 minutes; rinse with lukewarm water. For a mask, omit sugar and spread mixture evenly over face, avoiding eye and mouth areas. Leave for 5 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.
Avocado Cocoa Hydrating Face & Hair Mask
(Dry or Combination Skin)
- 1/4 ripe Avocado
- 2 tbsp. Cocoa or Cacao Powder
- 1 tbsp. Honey
- Optional: 2-4 drops Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mash avocado until it is a smooth, creamy consistency. Stir in cocoa powder, taking care to break up any lumps, then honey. If using olive oil, add at this time. For best results, chill in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes before use. Spread in thin even layer all over your face, avoiding the eye area but including the lips. Let the mask sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water and pat dry.
Light Creamy Hydrating Mask
(Oily or Combination Skin)
- 2 tbsp. Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
- 1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp. Honey
- Optional: 1-2 drops Scented Essential Oil
Combine all ingredient in a non-metal bowl using non-metal utensils. For best results, chill for 15 to 20 minutes before use. Spread in a thin, even layer over face, avoiding eye area. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
Incorporating a bath into your spa day is a great way soften your skin and soothe away your troubles. A bath by itself is certainly relaxing, but there are also simple ways to enhance the experience by making some simple additions. To make a simple scented bath oil, combine ¼ cup olive oil with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil – we like to use lavender and rosemary for a soothing, mellow scent. The oil perfumes the bath and leave your skin feeling baby soft! If bath oils aren’t your idea of a good time, scented bath salts or even plain Epsom salts also make great additions. These salts are made from magnesium sulfate, and they are NOT the same as the delicious sodium chloride we put on fries; instead, these salts add magnesium to the water as they dissolve, which absorbs into the body through the skin. Magnesium has a calming, relaxing effect on the brain and body, making it ideal for soothing away little aches and pains; combine it with some relaxing scents, and any bath becomes a hot spring spa.
You can purchase scented bath salts, but it’s an awful lot easier to get a big bag of Epsom salts and – you guessed it – do it yourself! There are endless combinations, but check out a couple of our favorites below.
Energizing Citrus & Rosemary Bath Salts
- 2 cups Epsom Salts
- Freshly grated zest from 2 large Oranges
- 20-30 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, lightly chopped
- ¼ cup Sea Salt
In a non-metal mixing bowl, combine the Epsom salts and sea salt until well mixed; add essential oil and fresh zest, the mix well by hand to combine. Finish with fresh rosemary. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a cool, dry area. To use, mix about ¼ cup of bath salts with bath water. Allow salts to sit for about 2 minutes to dissolve, then enjoy!
Soothing Green Tea Bath Salts
- 2 cups Epsom Salts
- ¼ cup Green Tea Leaves
- 2 tablespoons Matcha Powder
- ¼ cup Sea Salt
In a non-metal mixing bowl, combine the Epsom salts and sea salt until well mixed; add matcha powder and continue mixing until mixture is homogenous and the powder is evenly distributed. Stir in green tea leaves to finish. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a cool, dry area. To use, mix about ¼ cup of bath salts with bath water. Allow salts to sit for about 2 minutes to dissolve – the tea will steep in the water as you soak!
No matter what direction you decide to take your spa day, always take time for a break and little food. Glowing skin requires plenty of hydration, so make sure to sip plenty of water throughout the day, or whip up batch up beauty water for maximum hydration! Simply combine one sliced cucumber, one sliced lemon, two sprigs of fresh mint, and an optional scoop or two of collagen powder in a large jug and top with filtered water; keep it in the fridge, and enjoy a glass every couple of hours to stay refreshed and invigorated! We also love to add a wellness shot or two to our spa routine for a little extra vigor and healing. These aren’t shots you get at the doctor or at the bar, oh no – these concentrated shots are packed with health-boosting benefits from whole plants and herbs. We love them as part of the full, DIY spa treatment, but they’re also a great addition to any daily wellness routine. Check out our favorites below!
Immune Boosting Wellness Shot
- Juice of one Orange (or ¼ cup of your favorite Orange Juice)
- 1/2 teaspoon Source Naturals Wellness Herbal Resistance Liquid
- 1 tablespoon Elderberry Syrup
- Ginger, either a dime-sized piece freshly grated or 1 dropperful of Ginger Tincture
- Oregano Oil, 4 drops
Combine all ingredients in a resealable jar or bottle and shake well. Store tightly sealed in the fridge for up to 1 week. To serve, measure out about 2 ounces into a glass and drink up to twice daily.
Energizing Ginger Shot
- 1/4 cup Ginger Juice
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Turmeric Root, grated, or Powdered Turmeric
- ¼ cup Wheatgrass Juice
- 1 dropper Ashwaganda Tincture
- Oregano Oil, 4 drops
- 2 ounces Concentrated Yerba Mate Tea
Combine all ingredients in a resealable jar or bottle and shake well. Store tightly sealed in the fridge for up to 1 week. To serve, measure out about 2 ounces into a glass and drink once daily.
Calm & Soothe Wellness Shot
- ¼ cup concentrated Chamomile Tea
- 1 dropperful CBD Oil
- ½ dropperful Valerian Root Tincture
- 1 teaspoon Honey
Combine all ingredients in a resealable jar or bottle and shake well. Store tightly sealed in the fridge for up to 1 week. To serve, measure out about 2 ounces into a glass and drink once daily. Best taken in the evenings.
These wellness shots are a great way to get the most out of your spa day, but if you start getting snacky, there are plenty of food options. We tend to like keeping it light and plant-based; after all, nothing ruins a day of relaxation faster than stomach cramps and bloating! Avoid greasy, heavy foods and opt instead for dishes like this easy Citrus and Herb Fillet of Sole with Citrus & Fennel Salad, or go fully plant-based with delicious Vegan Spring Rolls or Vegan Japchae! The easier the dish is to throw to together, the less stressed you’ll be about it, and lighter meals mean you get back to your relaxation ASAP!
So you see, you don’t really need to leave your house to have a spa day! Just pop your head in the pantry and see what looks fresh, and for everything else, swing by Oliver’s for deals all on things wellness all month long! Whether it’s tinctures and supplements to boost your health from the inside out or your favorites in natural skincare to keep you looking radiant, Oliver’s has everything you need to find your Healthiest You now. Stop by today!